Our last visit to Uluru was just under 3 years ago and who knew we’d be back so soon!
Last time we visited was as part of our honeymoon which saw us travel up to Cape York and then across the Northern Territory. It wasn’t long after Shelly’s mum had passed away so Shelly’s dad and her sister flew in to Alice Springs and joined us on our visit to Kings Canyon and Uluru. It was the first visit to NT for all of us and it was great to be able to share it together after the not so great year beforehand.
Well I can tell you that it doesn’t change just because you’ve seen it before! When we arrived a few days ago and caught our first glimpse of Uluru again, it was still amazing, it really is something else.Once you actually drive into the park and get close up, you really see how large Uluru is, it’s quite overwhelming. To see the caves and holes and ridges all around the rock is also quite something, you don’t really understand what it’s like from photos as they tend to show it as a relatively smooth rock.
Uluru was actually formed by a type of sandstone, which came from compressed sediments laid down on the sea floor about 600 million years ago. Many years ago the Peterman Ranges to the west of Kata Tjuta were much taller than they are now. Over time sand and rock was eroded away and deposited into the surrounding plain. Later the whole area became part of an inland sea and sand and mud fell to the bottom of the sea, the weight of the water turning the ground beneath it into rock.About 400 million years ago, after the sea had disappeared, the area was subjected to massive forces and earthquakes. This caused some rocks to fold and tilt and you can see this through the sandstone layers of Uluru. The whole rock basically uplifted and tilted on its side.
On 26 October 1985, the title deeds to Uluru and Kata Tjuta were handed back to the traditional owners, the Anangu (meaning Aborignal people of western desert). It was then leased back to the federal government for 99 years. The park is now jointly run by Anangu and National Parks and both work together to preserve the heritage and also educate people on the area.Clearly the place is very important and spiritual to Anangu and they have requested that people do not climb the rock, but unfortunately at this stage the ultimate decision on that comes down to the government and for that reason it is still open for climbing. Hopefully this will change at some point in the future.
We’ve been told that when it rains, there are waterfalls all over the rock and colour wise it can be purple or even a greenish colour. Would love to see it in full rain or storm one day, but of course rain is pretty scarce in that part of the country!
At present there are a few wild camels hanging around the place that they are trying to catch, the day before we were there they had caught the baby one. When we first saw her we thought she was just grumpy as she kept crying out, but after we heard the story we felt really sorry for her, she’s obviously calling out to mum, so sad😞